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NHL Centennial

J.J. Daigneault goal in Game 6 of Stanley Cup Final shook Spectrum

Capped Flyers' comeback from down two against Oilers

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

J.J. Daigneault won't ever forget the huge role he played for the Philadelphia Flyers in "The Night the Spectrum Shook," Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers on May 28, 1987.

The then-unheralded defenseman capped a Flyers comeback when he scored with a slap shot from the left point with 5:32 left in the third period after skating into an errant clearing attempt by future Hockey Hall of Famer Jari Kurri, lifting Philadelphia to a 3-2 win and tying the best-of-7 series 3-3.

 

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"There's a lot of players over the years I talk to that were in that series that were with the Flyers or Oilers, and they all say it was the loudest they had ever heard a building," Daigneault told NHL.com. "I can't disagree with them. I think it was great moment, and one I'll cherish for the rest of my life."

The Flyers trailed 2-0 before Lindsay Carson scored at 7:12 of the second period and Brian Propp tied it at 13:04 of the third. Daigneault's goal set up the first Stanley Cup Final Game 7 since 1971.

Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Mark Howe remembers the goal for another reason.

"It was the best line change I ever made," Howe said. "I came off the ice and J.J. was my replacement; he came in and smoked it. I remember sitting on the bench and thinking the roof was going to cave in because it was so loud."

It was the only Stanley Cup Playoff goal Daigneault scored for the Flyers, and it came against future Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr.

"I was 21 years old, not logging too much ice time, and we had some good veteran defensemen. So whenever Wayne Gretzky's line was on the ice, I was supposed to be off," Daigneault said. "When I made that line change and was skating out, I noticed Gretzky's line was also on the ice. So I went to the bench for a change and (Flyers coach) Mike Keenan yelled at me to stay out there.

"I skated up the ice and got the turnover from Kurri, had some good speed coming in. It was a hard shot, and Scott Mellanby was in front with a good screen. It was a great moment."

Mike Emrick was doing television play-by-play for ESPN, but his call was drowned out by the fans' reaction to the goal. Most players participating in the game have called it the loudest moment in the history of the Spectrum.

The Oilers won the Cup with a 3-1 victory in Game 7 three days later, but memories of Game 6 have always lingered.

"Almost 10 years after that goal (in 1995-96), I got to play with Grant Fuhr in St. Louis and we got to share some moments," Daigneault said. "I kind of brought up that goal against him, and he did remember it and said to me, 'You got the goal, but I got the grail.'

"Needless to say, I never brought it up to him again."

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